I was going to call this article “Negativity” and then realised my mistake. I wanted to write about the subjective experience of having one’s well being affected by concentrating on “negativity” and then realised this was precisely the damaging behaviour pattern I was telling myself to avoid.
Instead of talking (or writing) about “negativity” there are two benefits of instead writing about “positivity”. The first benefit is that it demonstrates the point I was going to make but in reverse: you life will feel subjectively better if you concentrate only on things which are positive. The second benefit is that by actually writing about “positivity” I will myself feel subjectively positive and also be taking my own medicine.
I reviewed some of the recent posts I had written, mostly about the financial markets. Some of those posts are positive and helpful: in particular 8 Steps to Profitable Investment and Profitable Stock Market Investment is Very Simple .
After more than 30 years in the financial markets these two posts represent my view as to how stock markets work.
I then looked at a few other posts and realised they were horribly negative: in particular Fundamental Analysis – Expensive and Futile , Where are the Customers’ Yachts? and Technical Analysis – Embarrassing Nonsense .
In a sense this presents me with quite a difficult problem. These negative posts represent deeply held views based on long experience. The problem is they trash almost the entire industry. The fact is also that so many industries can (and probably should) be similarly trashed (at least in part).
The question is: should you do it? Morally speaking, if you are sure enough of your grounds for criticism, the answer has to be yes. Warn people of the dangers. But on a personal level the answer has to be a resounding no: any sort of negativity seems to create (subjectively speaking) a destructive feedback loop. The negativity may spill over into your life as a whole.
The common sense answer may therefore simply be to ignore the negative and instead guide people to what you believe is the positive.
Instead of telling people what does not work in investment (or any other aspect of life) tell them what does work so that they will be able by default to avoid what does not.